Tag Archives: grammys

What I Learned From the Grammys 2015

9 Feb

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Because I missed the first 30 minutes of the show, I’ll give you my reactions as I saw them.

* The first thing I saw was Pharell accepting his Grammy then reneging on promise to moonwalk off stage. Let this be a lesson: if you say you’re gonna moonwalk, you’d better moonwalk. Otherwise all trust is lost.

* After Pharell, I was shocked to see Smokey Robinson’s face. Smokey may have also been shocked. Or maybe that’s the way his doctor has sculpted his face. I don’t know anything but it was a surprise to both of us.

* Miranda Lambert, who’s been very op[en about her weight loss, looked great on stage. I don’t listen to country music, so I couldn’t tell you what her song was about. I only became intrigued when part of it was bleeped out for so long I thought Eminem had joined her on stage.

* Sam Smith got his second award of the night and thanked everyone for “just letting me be me,” a mantra we should all take with us as we continue on this journey of life.

* Kanye modeled the latest in workout wear, especially in these frigid temps. Thanks for looking out for us, ‘Ye.

* Madonna is 56. Repeat: Madonna is 56. (However, my 19-year-old cousin likened her performance to “watching ya grandma twerk.”)

Yahoo Entertainment via Tumblr  http://yahooentertainment.tumblr.com/

Yahoo Entertainment via Tumblr

* Beyond that, the song and staging was a mashup of Take a Bow+Express Yourself+Like Prayer. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

* Did anyone else notice the playoff music sounded like something evil was lurking around the corner?

* Beyonce addressed the BeyHive in her acceptance speech. BeyHive collectivly loses its shit.

* Somehow Ed Sheeran was able to get the best backup band of all time: Herbie Hancock, Questlove and John Mayer. That’s pretty amazing. (Don’t know his song either, but his voice is nice).

* For the second time last night, the 50-and-up crowd had a band to rock out to. This time it was E.L.O., a band whose name I didn’t know but whose music I’d heard. And I wasn’t the only one. Sir Paul McCartney became everyone’s dad jamming to his song at the family reunion when E.L.O. got on stage. Cheers to rocking out in your 70s!

mccartney

* Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani sang…or something. The orchestra was great, though.

(At this point, “Walking Dead” fans creeped into my timeline with their spoilers. They all suck…until I can watch the episode.)

* Last year, Annie Lennox made a couple of comments that ruffled my feathers. First, there was the whole Beyonce-is-feminist-lite thing, which made no sense. Then there was the whitewashing of “Strange Fruit,” a song specifically about lynching. Because I’m petty, I couldn’t enjoy Annie’s rendition of Nina Simone’s version of “I Put a Spell on You.” I’m sure it was lovely, but I’m not ready for her yet.

* Pharell looked like he was auditioning for the sequel to “Grand Budapest Hotel” as he performed “Happy” what has to be the billionth time in the past year. But kudos to him for having his dancers perform in hoodies and stand for a moment in the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” stance.

pharell

* President Obama and a domestic abuse survivor introduced Katy Perry, who surprisingly sang pretty well. I was slightly distracted by her Solange copy fit, though.

* Lady Gaga sang with Tony Bennett. They were both painted a disturbing shade of orange.

* I am a Stevie Wonder stan. I listen to “Songs in the Key of Life” in full at least twice a month. The rest of the month, I’m rotating through my favorite songs. Last month it was “Rocket Love.” So imagine my joy when Usher started “If It’s Magic.” I had to grab my tissues. Then Stevie came out to hit a few bars of his harmonica solo. It. Was. EVERYTHING!!

stevie

* I’ve only listened to “FourFiveSeconds” briefly, so the show was the first time I’d actually listened to it. Thoughts: Rihanna’s vocals are getting so much better. Kanye wasn’t as hyped as I would have liked. Paul McCartney’s mic wasn’t on. Still it’s the most hood folk song I’ve ever heard, and I’m here for it.

* Mary J. Blige sang “Stay With Me” with Sam Smith. I could have died in that moment a happy person.

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* Prince!!!

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* Kanye almost Kanye’s Beck’s acceptance speech. There were several great moments in this: 1) Kanye being able to laugh at himself. 2) Beck truly being at a loss for how he beat Sam Smith, Beyonce, Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran. 3) And this Vine of Jay-Z silently saying “Don’t do it.”

* Kristin Wiig was grown-up Maddie Ziegler while Sia sang “Chandelier” to a wall. Maddie gets all the props for making everyone think her crazy jumping around was just that and not extensive choreography. It takes work to look a fool and not hurt yourself in the process. Maddie wins.

* Somewhere between “conscious uncoupling” and Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Martin got buff. Yes, Lord!

* There was minor controversy surrounding Beyonce singing “Precious Lord,” seeing as how Ledisi sang it in “Selma” (beautifully, I might add). I didn’t hate Beyonce’s performance, but I did wait for the goosebumps. “Precious Lord” is the kind of song you feel in your bones, and I didn’t get that. But she still did well. Put it this way: the BeyHive won’t be defecting any time soon.

* Common and John Legend dueted on “Glory” and it was glorious. It’s a great song with a powerful message. My fingers are crossed for an Oscar.

commonlegend

Apparently I missed AC/DC, Ariana Grande and…I think that’s it. I’m OK with that. All in all, it was a pretty blah Grammys. There weren’t a lot of get-out-of-your seat moments. Hopefully the Oscars will be better.

What did you think of the show?

Tuning Out

27 Jan
Once these go in, the world is shut out.

Once these go in, the world is shut out.

Do you remember a few years ago when Jay-Z and Linkin Park released “Numb/Encore?” It had been a while since we’d heard such a perfect melding of rap and rock music. To this day when that song plays, it gets me amped up and motivated.

That happened again last night when Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons took the stage at the Grammys. Their performance was one of the highlights of an otherwise long, dry and predictable show. Post-performance I tweeted, “I’m glad I recorded Kendrick and Imagine Dragons, because I’m watching it again.” What I really want is to add the song to my workout playlist.

 

A good playlist or album can be what makes or breaks your workout routine. You want a good mix of songs. Every song shouldn’t have beats as fast as “Bombs Over Baghdad.” You’ll wear yourself out. But you do want good energy. The music should keep you moving.

There was an article in The Wall Street Journal last year in which a sports education professor said the musical “sweet spot” for an optimal workout is 125 to 140 beats per minute. To be honest, I don’t count beats per minute. But if that’s your thing, have fun. For me, the songs should be positive and have a quick energy.

Music has been a big part of my weight-loss journey. I get pissed when my Nano battery dies during the middle of a run. I can’t really deal with the music at the gym (too much ’80s rock). I work out best with what I like.

I mostly listen to hip hop and R&B when I work out. The beats are reliably funky and I can get lost in a groove. I’ll plan on a half-hour run and before I know it, I’m at the end of an album or playlist.

The first two songs are key for a good album or playlist. The first song has to have a strong enough beat to get you interested, but it doesn’t have to be the heavy hitter. That role belongs to the second song. The first song gets you moving, the second makes you work. I need my first two songs to drag the workout out of me.

I’ve found a few good albums that do this for me. Some of them are old, but they still do the trick, trust me.

Ciara, “The Evolution”—The first two songs are “That’s Right” and “Like a Boy.” “That’s Right” didn’t play that much on the radio, but when I first heard the song, all I could do was jump around my house. It’s got amazing energy. This is the album I play when I really don’t feel like working out because the energy of the first song is undeniable. Then “Like a Boy” comes on and I can’t be stopped.

T.I., “King”—When I began my weight-loss journey, this was one of the first albums I listened to at the gym. The first song, “King Back,” has a announcer’s intro for a boxer. So if you need to feel like you’re about take over, this is the album for you.

Beyonce Mix—Lately, Yonce has been in heavy rotation for me at the gym. I’ve got everything from “Crazy in Love” to “Partition” and it’s awesome. Beyonce knows how to keep you moving and motivated. My playlist is almost an hour and a half long, and I love every minute of it.

Imagine Dragons, “Night Visions”—As I said earlier, Imagine Drangons’ performance with Kendrick was amazeballs. The album is even more amazeballs. “Radioactive” is the first song to play and it’s got the perfect energy to get you started. As you get further into it, the songs slow down a smidge, so keep that in mind if you don’t like that sort of thing.

Honorable mentions go to:

Kanye West and Friends, “Good Music Cruel Summer”

Jay Z and Kanye West “Watch the Throne”

Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse”—When you’re in a class, you’re at the mercy of your instructor. My spin instructors love this song, and it’s grown on me. Don’t let Katy’s bizarre Grammy performance fool you. “Dark Horse” is a banger. I can’t say that for the album.

What’s on your playlists for a good workout? I’m taking suggestions.

photo credit: el patojo via photopin cc